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Sadiq Khan courts Silicon Valley for London tech investment

Sadiq Khan US trip
Image credit: London City Hall

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has begun a tour of the US aimed at attracting international investment into the capital, including a trip to Silicon Valley to meet senior tech executives.

Khan said he would “bang the drum for London” to help boost tourism and tech investment amid the capital’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Khan’s trip includes a visit to San Francisco, where he will visit Silicon Valley business leaders at tech firms including Google and LinkedIn.

Founders of approximately 15 London-based tech businesses, including blockchain company Aventus, will join Khan at a Mayor’s International Business Programme trade mission in Los Angeles.

“I am visiting America this week, banging the drum for London to attract the tourism and investment our city needs following the pandemic. I want to show the world that London is fully open for business once again,” said Khan.

Khan will travel to New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. During the trip, Khan will also launch his new £10m international tourism campaign.

When in San Francisco, the mayor will be accompanied by 10 female founders from the BeyondHERizons programme.

“Throughout my visit, my main message will be that London is the perfect destination in the world for international tourists to visit and businesses to invest in,” said Khan.

The trip starts today in New York, where Khan is set to meet the city’s mayor, Eric Adams.

London is considered the tech hub of Europe, with tech startups based in the capital raising a record £18.55bn in 2021.

However, following a record year of VC tech funding, there are signs of a global slowdown amid soaring inflation and rising interest rates.

Outside of Lonon, regional investment has been on the rise with £9bn of VC funding in 2021 going to startups and scaleups outside of London and the South East.

Startups based in tech hubs such as Manchester and Leeds have become increasingly popular targets for VC firms, including for these four British VC funds actively investing in Northern tech startups.